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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Library closed until further notice

Friday, January 11, 2008

Although the move was hesitant, Brazil City Planning Administrator Michelle Altman threw the hammer down Friday on the Brazil Public Library.

Beginning Friday, the library is officially closed to residents and employees until further notice after an accident Thursday in which a person suffered a broken leg.

Clay County Search and Rescue and Trans-Care were dispatched to the library after a person fell on some stairs and was injured.

However, because of the accident, Altman was forced to follow protocol and enforce city ordinance 156.023.

The ordinance states that any city building under construction or reconstruction may not be occupied until a certificate of occupancy has been issued.

"I hate to do that," Altman told The Brazil Times Friday. "But it had to happen. The accident is what prompted it. It was just a matter of time before it all played out."

Altman said she consulted with Indiana Department of Homeland Security Director of Fire and Building Code Enforcement Shelly Wakefield and Brazil City Attorney Bob Pell before enforcing the ordinance.

The ordinance states if the building is not vacated, the City Planning Administrator (Altman) "may institute a suit for injunction in the Circuit Court of Clay County to restrain an individual or a governmental unit from violating the provisions of this chapter."

The ordinance adds that a penalty of not less than $10 or more than $300 may be assessed for those who violate the ordinance.

"We've never really had to do anything like this before," Altman said.

Altman suggested if the city did not comply with the ordinance, attorneys with Pyramid Architects and Engineers, Inc., the company currently working on library construction, may have asked the city to enforce the ordinance.

She added she is currently drafting a letter -- with consultation from Wakefield and help from city and state building inspectors -- of at least five major violations regarding library construction.

However, Altman said if those violations are corrected within 30 days of the Library Board receiving the letter, the library could reopen.

Altman said Wakefield has scheduled an inspection date of Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Brazil Public Library Director Jill Scarborough could not be reached for comment.

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Has the library director been performing her duties? Have the library board members been following up on the construction inspections? Why hasn't the occupancy permit been issued? THese are serious issues. Should the performance of the library director be reviewed? Has the safety of the public been placed in jeopardy? How could this have been avoided? The library board needs to report to the community. Brazil Township and Brazil City should suspend taxpayers' contributions until this is resolved.

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 4:39 PM

What a great use of our tax dollars! I am glad we chose to use our money on that instead of street repair, water tower renovation or schools. This will be just another added bonus for people wanting to move here. No library, schools falling apart, and great morale!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Mon, Jan 14, 2008, at 9:39 AM

Were local tax dollars used for the renovation or was a grant received to pay for the changes?

-- Posted by snow on Mon, Jan 14, 2008, at 9:26 PM

I pay taxes in Brazil township and in the paper it is reported that a portion of that goes to the library. Therefore, I am paying the library my money and getting nothing in return. Tax dollars wasted! I want a refund!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Jan 15, 2008, at 9:33 AM

I said it and i want it

-- Posted by madmom61 on Tue, Jan 15, 2008, at 3:00 PM

I'm still not sure if our tax dollars were used for this project or not, I hope the majority of the money came from some sort of a grant. I think we should think twice about building monuments in the community when we can't even get our roads paved or pay our municipal workers a living wage all the while our property taxes and other taxes keep going up.

-- Posted by snow on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 2:28 AM

I am paying tax dollars to the library every year I live in Brazil Township. If it went to buidling or everyday operations, I still am not getting what I paid for.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 8:08 AM

Why is this not raising peoples "hackels"? Loosing tax dollars is nuts. And am I insane or did I see job postings in the help wanted section of the paper Monday? What the heck are they hiring new people to do? I want the job. Getting paid to sit at home sounds like a great job to me. I have to go to work and put in hours to get my pay!!!

-- Posted by madmom61 on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 10:14 AM

What I'm interested in finding out is, just who is the 'General Contractor' for the project and what reject bin was he pulled from? Does the architect for the new addition share any of the blame for the failure to bring the building up to code. This is pathetic to think that this is the quality of workmanship to be found in the Wabash Valley.

Are we to look to Indianapolis for quality contractors?

-- Posted by T. H. McCrea on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 5:57 PM

I dont think this was a local contractor. That is even more pathetic. Did they come with references???? Were they checked out?? The patheticness just grows and grows

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 10:01 AM

comment 1: yes the building was still operational, however it was not handicap accessible, which was the reason for update.

comment 2: MOST of the money that went toward the addition came from grant money and loans. Very little of it came from taxes.

comment 3: Has anyone taken in to consideration the jobs that are on the line? I don't mean the board or the directors, I mean the ladies that kept the library in running order. They don't know if they will be employed when this is all over.

comment 4: I completely agree that the board, directors, contractors, and developers should be held accountable. Why are we, as taxpayers, not being told the truth about why the library was unable to reopen on schedule? Whats the big secret?

-- Posted by KTEAPayne on Sun, Jan 20, 2008, at 7:55 PM

Thank you KTEAPayne for the information. I see that you stated that most of the money came from grants and loans not from taxes. I'm not sure, but I would guess that the loans will have to be paid by tax money. I understand needing to make the building handicap accessible, but from what I've seen it looks like a good deal more was done than necessary to make it accessable.

-- Posted by snow on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 4:46 AM

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